iStock_000015026880XSmall.jpgAs we previously reported, the Department of Labor has now issued its long-anticipated final overtime exemption rules for white collar workers. In addition, the DOL published more detailed guidance for higher education institutions (.pdf) seeking to comply with the new obligations. As expected, the compensation adjustments mandated by the new rules require substantial effort to balance college and university budgetary constraints, workforce morale concerns, and legal compliance obligations in the next several months.

The DOL estimates that the new rule will result in approximately 35% of all current full-time, salaried workers being eligible for overtime based on their salary level alone. At the same time, increasing so many positions’ salaries to meet the new $47,476 threshold creates substantial concerns with salary compression on campus for positions already above that threshold.  To address such concerns and to minimize the need to comply with future increases of the FLSA salary threshold, many institutions of higher education are likely to seek to convert positions to non-exempt status; at the same time, they will need to address employee-morale concerns related to such a conversion and diligently manage the number of hours or methods of compensating for overtime wherever possible for budgetary reasons.

As schools determine the best approach for seeking to adjust to the new rules, the guidance issued yesterday as well as a white paper that we prepared earlier this year offer ample advice specific to higher education institutional needs and concerns.  Examples of key components of the guidance include the following:


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Bloomberg BNA is reporting (subscription required) that according to a “source familiar with the situation,” the DOL’s new overtime exemption rules will take effect on December 1. The new minimum salary for exempt executive, administrative and professional employees will be $913 per week or $47,476 per year. That’s still more than double the current $455

As employers try to figure out how to cope with the coming increase in the minimum salary for the executive, administrative and professional employees, some find themselves with job classifications where the salary scale straddles the new line between exempt and non-exempt. Can employers in this situation categorize employees whose compensation falls below the line as non-exempt, while treating those with the same job title but with higher salaries as exempt?

In theory, sure. But it could get complicated.


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No.

I’ve received this question from several blog readers and clients recently, and on its face it makes some sense. After all, you don’t pay full salary to someone who is only working for you part-time, so it only makes sense that the minimum salary for the executive, administrative and professional exemptions under the FLSA should also be pro-rated based on how many hours an employee works. Right?

Well, not so much.


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According to a report from Bloomberg BNA, unnamed DOL staffers have stated that the salary threshold in the hotly anticipated FLSA exemption rules will be about $47,000 per year, down slightly from the $50,440 level suggested by the proposed rules published last summer. This is  not an official announcement, so while the statement may well